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It was called "The Titanic of the South." The luxury steamship sank in 1838 with Savannah's elite on board; through time, their fates were forgotten--until the wreck was found, and now their story is finally being told in this breathtaking novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Becoming Mrs. Lewis. When Savannah history professor Everly Winthrop is asked to gue It was called "The Titanic of the South." The luxury steamship sank in 1838 with Savannah's elite on board; through time, their fates were forgotten--until the wreck was found, and now their story is finally being told in this breathtaking novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Becoming Mrs. Lewis. When Savannah history professor Everly Winthrop is asked to guest-curate a new museum collection focusing on artifacts recovered from the steamship Pulaski, she's shocked. The ship sank after a boiler explosion in 1838, and the wreckage was just discovered, 180 years later. Everly can't resist the opportunity to try to solve some of the mysteries and myths surrounding the devastating night of its sinking. Everly's research leads her to the astounding history of a family of eleven who boarded the Pulaski together, and the extraordinary stories of two women from this family: a known survivor, Augusta Longstreet, and her niece, Lilly Forsyth, who was never found, along with her child. These aristocratic women were part of Savannah's society, but when the ship exploded, each was faced with difficult and heartbreaking decisions. This is a moving and powerful exploration of what women will do to endure in the face of tragedy, the role fate plays, and the myriad ways we survive the surviving.


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It was called "The Titanic of the South." The luxury steamship sank in 1838 with Savannah's elite on board; through time, their fates were forgotten--until the wreck was found, and now their story is finally being told in this breathtaking novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Becoming Mrs. Lewis. When Savannah history professor Everly Winthrop is asked to gue It was called "The Titanic of the South." The luxury steamship sank in 1838 with Savannah's elite on board; through time, their fates were forgotten--until the wreck was found, and now their story is finally being told in this breathtaking novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Becoming Mrs. Lewis. When Savannah history professor Everly Winthrop is asked to guest-curate a new museum collection focusing on artifacts recovered from the steamship Pulaski, she's shocked. The ship sank after a boiler explosion in 1838, and the wreckage was just discovered, 180 years later. Everly can't resist the opportunity to try to solve some of the mysteries and myths surrounding the devastating night of its sinking. Everly's research leads her to the astounding history of a family of eleven who boarded the Pulaski together, and the extraordinary stories of two women from this family: a known survivor, Augusta Longstreet, and her niece, Lilly Forsyth, who was never found, along with her child. These aristocratic women were part of Savannah's society, but when the ship exploded, each was faced with difficult and heartbreaking decisions. This is a moving and powerful exploration of what women will do to endure in the face of tragedy, the role fate plays, and the myriad ways we survive the surviving.

30 review for Surviving Savannah

  1. 5 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    Have you heard of the Pulaski,” the titanic of the south“. A steamship that sunk off the coast of North Carolina in 1838, carrying some of the wealthiest residents of Savanna at the time. I know I hadn’t heard of the Pulaski before this book. I love reading a story that introduces me to a piece of history I never knew about before. This is a dual timelime Story bouncing between 1838 and present. The present day story is about Everly. An archaeologists who has been hired to put together the museu Have you heard of the Pulaski,” the titanic of the south“. A steamship that sunk off the coast of North Carolina in 1838, carrying some of the wealthiest residents of Savanna at the time. I know I hadn’t heard of the Pulaski before this book. I love reading a story that introduces me to a piece of history I never knew about before. This is a dual timelime Story bouncing between 1838 and present. The present day story is about Everly. An archaeologists who has been hired to put together the museum exhibit of the Pulaski. The ship always had a special place in the heart of Everly‘s grandfather and in turn hers. The past story alternates between the perspectives of Lily and Augusta. Both ladies are members of the same wealthy Savanna family and are traveling on the Pulaski to spend the summer in New York. Lily is traveling with her husband, her baby, and her nursemaid. She feels trapped by marriage and social expectations. Augusta was traveling with her brother and his family, she is a doting aunt. Augusta is a great confidant to Lily and knows far too much about social expectations. Both storylines quickly captured my attention. Everly had recently gone through a major tragedy and was still dealing with the aftermath of that. Working on this museum exhibit gave her something to look forward to, but it also made her confront her past. Lily and Augusta’s stories were much more tense. The author did an amazing job of vividly describing the survival scenes in this book. I felt like I was right there in the water with both Augusta and Lily trying to hang on with everything they got. Made me really think about the resilience of the human spirit and the desire to survive. The overall arching theme of the story really was surviving, and surviving the surviving. Focusing on what it is you do with your life after you have survived the surviving. The story also addressed issues such as race, gender, grief, wealth. There is also a mystery and some romance peppered into the book. Another wonderful story from this excellent author. This book in emojis 🛳 🥂 🤿 🌊 🎟 *** Big thank you to Berkley for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

  2. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    3.5 stars The Steamship Pulaski traveling from Savannah to Baltimore, exploded 30 miles off the coast of North Carolina on June 14, 1838, claiming two-thirds of her passengers and crew. Savannah, Georgia. Present day. Everly, history professor, receives an offer to be a consultant for the museum exhibit as the wreck of the steamship Pulaski was found off the coast of North Carolina. It’s about bringing “to life a wreck that has long been ignored, one that changed the history of Savannah, Georgia, 3.5 stars The Steamship Pulaski traveling from Savannah to Baltimore, exploded 30 miles off the coast of North Carolina on June 14, 1838, claiming two-thirds of her passengers and crew. Savannah, Georgia. Present day. Everly, history professor, receives an offer to be a consultant for the museum exhibit as the wreck of the steamship Pulaski was found off the coast of North Carolina. It’s about bringing “to life a wreck that has long been ignored, one that changed the history of Savannah, Georgia, when it claimed some of its finest families, when it took both treasure and fortune down with it.” Savannah, 1838. Lilly Forsyth is one of the eleven members of Savannah’s aristocratic family that boards the ship. Augusta Longstreet is a known survivor and her niece Lilly Forsyth is one of those who is never found. The past story alternates between those two women who relate the efforts for survival. The strength of the story is in the past story. The present day story holds some interesting pieces of history for ex. Savannah’s history, it “was founded in 1733 as a philanthropic trust. (…) The policy was meant to encourage the creation of a community of working yeomen.” But “their good intentions didn’t last. Slavery was legalized by 1755.” Or “Until 1857 any foreign currency was legal” in the USA as the country “didn’t yet have enough of its own coins.” As the story begins, a lot of the present day story is consumed by Everly coming to terms with the past, with what happened to her best friend and her feeling responsible for it. It hinders the story and takes away from the interesting part of being a curator and what that entails. It seems as this is becoming a common theme for dual or triple timeline stories. All timelines in one book carrying the same subject, be it love or a dramatic event. The end result is it becomes too much of that subject in one book. This story also has some unnecessary repetition as past story unravels and Everly in present day story tries to unravel the same events. The big issue for me is when one of the dual timelines is set in modern time. I choose historical fiction because I want to be transported to a different time period. In this case, most of the story is set in present day. And the past story, most of it explores the survival efforts after the explosion of the boiler. The past story gives just a glimpse of the lives of Longstreet families before they board the ship and a rushed account of the lives of those who survive. Thus, the story did not transport me to a different time period. The depiction of desperation for survival, the helplessness and the hopelessness is very well-presented. The prose is smooth and the story has a good pace. My issue is mostly with the book being set for most of the part in modern day. P.S. Highly recommend Becoming Mrs. Lewis by this author. Source: ARC was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marie Benedict

    Spellbinding. Beautifully written with a masterfully crafted plot, Surviving Savannah leaves the reader breathless and marveling at the manner in which the past and present interweave in ways we almost cannot imagine.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    “There is tragedy behind, and it trails us and walks alongside us, but still there is the great mystery of life after.’” The Steamship Pulaski disaster was dubbed ‘the Titanic of its time’ yet most of us have never heard of it. The fight for survival was remarkable, especially given the time period. Though I enjoyed learning about this event, I thought the delivery was a bit lacking. The present day story seemed to try too hard to mimic the original tragedy with too much time focused there instea “There is tragedy behind, and it trails us and walks alongside us, but still there is the great mystery of life after.’” The Steamship Pulaski disaster was dubbed ‘the Titanic of its time’ yet most of us have never heard of it. The fight for survival was remarkable, especially given the time period. Though I enjoyed learning about this event, I thought the delivery was a bit lacking. The present day story seemed to try too hard to mimic the original tragedy with too much time focused there instead of on the past story. Found myself skimming the last part of the book where the story became very repetitive and ‘harpy’. Not sure the dual timeline was needed. Just focusing on the Pulaski would’ve worked better for me. 3.5 *Question for those who’ve read this: Augusta was Charles Aunt. Mora was a direct descendent of Augusta... so how was Mora a direct descendant of both? This was a major theme in the story (something coming out of both good & evil) but Charles would’ve had to have been Augusta’s son in order for descendants to be part of both. Correct?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Judy D Collins

    Exquisite! Ten Stars and Best Historical Fiction of 2021. Movie-worthy. I finished SURVIVING SAVANNAH in two sittings and speechless! EXTRAORDINARY!! Hands down, the BEST historical fiction I have ever had the opportunity to read! I knew NYT bestselling author, Patti Callahan was a master storyteller but this one is her best and a true gem. The best-kept hidden secret. I have had the opportunity of reading all her books. She was truly meant to tell this mesmerizing story, inspired by true eve Exquisite! Ten Stars and Best Historical Fiction of 2021. Movie-worthy. I finished SURVIVING SAVANNAH in two sittings and speechless! EXTRAORDINARY!! Hands down, the BEST historical fiction I have ever had the opportunity to read! I knew NYT bestselling author, Patti Callahan was a master storyteller but this one is her best and a true gem. The best-kept hidden secret. I have had the opportunity of reading all her books. She was truly meant to tell this mesmerizing story, inspired by true events. The Pulaski, known as the "Titanic of the South" included Savannah's society, a wealthy family of eleven and some servants, boarded to leave the heat of the South for Maryland. Some with many secrets and shame. The ship was not equipped for a boiler explosion in 1838. How would they survive? Now, 180 years later the wreckage was discovered off the coast of Wilmington, NC. Now Savannah's history professor Everly Winthrop is asked to guest-curate a new museum collection focusing on artifacts recovered from the steamship Pulaski remains. However, Everly has experienced a loss of her own and still grieving. She is obsessed with the lives of those who lost their lives and somehow feels she must seek the answers in order to survive herself. Her answers may be closer than she could have imagined. From past to present, SURVIVING SAVANNAH is elegantly written, lyrical, emotional, meticulously researched, and a perfect blending of fact and fiction. Rich in detail, character, and history —a captivating tale, intricately woven of survival, love, and loss with three courageous women you will root for. "How will we survive the surviving?" What happens when tragedy occurs and your loved one is lost? Gone forever. There are no do-overs. How will you, the "survivor" lead your life? How will you go on? Will it change you in a positive or negative way? The author explores eloquently, different outcomes from the tragedies. If you LOVE strong women (both past and present), you will devour this one. Callahan flawlessly captures the essence of her characters as though you experienced every step of their journey firsthand. Some highly-charged topics of class, privilege, greed, abuse, and racial injustice —ripped from today's headlines. Behind the Book with Patti —Interview: HERE VIDEO (Patti goes behind the scenes). I fell in LOVE with characters: Augusta, Lily, Priscilla, (especially Everly), Oliver, Henry, and Maddox. Timely, absolutely stunning, and thought-provoking. Normally with historical fiction, I am drawn more to the past story vs. the present; however, her dual timelines are equally as compelling! If you are a fan of historical Savannah, the author offers a wealth of information for additional reading. Ideal for book clubs and further discussions. In SURVIVING SAVANNAH, Patti Callahan has woven a sweeping, captivating tale; of a contemporary woman lost in a fog of grief who finds solace-- and finally, redemption as she uncovers the long-buried secrets of a nearly forgotten shipwreck—and the courageous women who survived to bear witness to history. Based in fact, steeped in heart-breaking detail, SURVIVING SAVANNAH raises the little-known, 180-year-old story of the Southern Titanic to the forefront of American historical fiction. There is so much to tell and could go on and on. Get this one on your pre-order list now. It is like nothing you will ever read. A true masterpiece. Highly recommend! Stay Tuned for Interview: Patti will be the featured author in my upcoming March 2021 An Elevator Ride with the Author Series. I cannot wait for the interview to learn more. A special thank you to the author, #Berkley, and #Netgalley for an advanced reading copy. I also pre-ordered the hardcover and the audiobook. #JDCMustReadBooks BONUS: Be sure and check out Patti's website for signed copies, more historical information, and bonus coins. PS. If you have not read Patti's Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis or her podcast, Behind the Scenes of Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis check it out. Another great historical fiction by the master storyteller.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    What fun to do research for a sunken ship. The Pulaski was finally found after sinking in 1838. Everly Winthrop was given the task of finding what really happened to The Pulaski. We also meet Lilly who was on the sunken luxury ship. SURVIVING SAVANNAH takes us back and forth in time as we learn about Lilly Longstreet’s privileged life and then the terror of trying to save herself, her nursemaid, and her baby. Many wealthy families were on board. We then move to present day as Everly does the research What fun to do research for a sunken ship. The Pulaski was finally found after sinking in 1838. Everly Winthrop was given the task of finding what really happened to The Pulaski. We also meet Lilly who was on the sunken luxury ship. SURVIVING SAVANNAH takes us back and forth in time as we learn about Lilly Longstreet’s privileged life and then the terror of trying to save herself, her nursemaid, and her baby. Many wealthy families were on board. We then move to present day as Everly does the research and deals with issues of her own. Ms. Callahan included very interesting information from her amazing, thorough research along with her marvelous writing and story line. The story line flowed well from one time period to the next. The characters were well developed and ones you will cheer on and love. I loved learning about Savannah, and about this ship. I had never heard of this event. SURVIVING SAVANNAH will pull you into the mystery of The Pulaski and have you wanting to know everything uncovered and everything about Savannah. Historical fiction fans and fans of Savannah will enjoy this book. A truly addictive read you won't want to put down. 5/5 This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    A thought-provoking and riveting story of catastrophe, survival and hope. SUMMARY In 1838, twelve members of the Longstreet family of Savannah Georgia board the luxury steamship Pulaski, to travel to Baltimore to escape the brutal Savannah summers. This is the newly built ship’s fourth journey. There are over 180 passengers and crew members on board when the ship explodes in the middle of the night. With only two working lifeboats on board, many lives were lost on that horrendous night. The wreck A thought-provoking and riveting story of catastrophe, survival and hope. SUMMARY In 1838, twelve members of the Longstreet family of Savannah Georgia board the luxury steamship Pulaski, to travel to Baltimore to escape the brutal Savannah summers. This is the newly built ship’s fourth journey. There are over 180 passengers and crew members on board when the ship explodes in the middle of the night. With only two working lifeboats on board, many lives were lost on that horrendous night. The wreckage is discovered 180 years later in a hundred feet of water thirty-five miles off the coast of North Carolina. Everly Winthrope, a Savannah history professor is ask to guest-curate the collection of artifacts being recovered from the Pulaski for a local history museum. Everly’s research on what happened that night leads her to focus her efforts on two members of the Longstreet family who had boarded the ship.—Augusta Longstreet, and her niece Lilly Forsyth. These two women face difficult and heartbreaking decisions on the night of the explosion. Everly is also facing difficult decisions of her own if she is going to survive the recent loss of her best friend. ”There were many ways to survive and many ways to survive the surviving.” REVIEW Surviving Savanah is a thought-provoking story of catastrophe, survival and hope. Author Patti Callahan plucks this riveting steamship story from real life and creatively weaves the past and the present, alternating between Everly in present day, and Lilly Forsyth and Augusta Longstreet in 1838. The perseverance, determination and resilience reflected by these women makes this story captivating. The story explores the horror of having to make instantaneous decisions that have life and death consequences and the sorrow of being a survivor when those you know and love have died. But it’s also about hope for the future and surviving the survival. Callahan’s characters are delightfully well-developed and her writing is vividly descriptive, particularly of the days following the explosion, as many passengers are floating in the water barely clinging to life. She has thoroughly proven her ability once again as an outstanding author. She has authored numerous novels, most recently including The Favorite Daughter and Becoming Mrs. Lewis. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. “The life we live is the life we choose. With ever decision of the hear soul and mind. What do we do with our survival? Now what?” “You know,” he said finally, “not everyone who survives trauma becomes a better person. The idea that surviving brings everyone to a new and better place is a lie told by people who need the world to make sense.” Publisher Berkley Published March 9, 2021 Review www.bluestockingreviews.com

  8. 5 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    ASTONISHING “Those bits and pieces of myself, of everyone, could be retrieved and examined; their stories could be told.” I love Patti Callahan’s newest hf novel, SURVIVING SAVANNAH. It covers the 1838 tragic sinking of the steamship Pulaski, The Titanic of the South, after its boiler exploded. It’s a story I’d not known but will remember forever, thanks to the author’s enthralling narrative. DIVINE SPARK Callahan was visiting the city when a friend told her details of the Pulaski tragedy. It led ASTONISHING “Those bits and pieces of myself, of everyone, could be retrieved and examined; their stories could be told.” I love Patti Callahan’s newest hf novel, SURVIVING SAVANNAH. It covers the 1838 tragic sinking of the steamship Pulaski, The Titanic of the South, after its boiler exploded. It’s a story I’d not known but will remember forever, thanks to the author’s enthralling narrative. DIVINE SPARK Callahan was visiting the city when a friend told her details of the Pulaski tragedy. It led to her own impassioned research, ignited when she learned the steamship’s wreck had just been found after 180 years. CALL TO WRITE She recounts, “When I read the news, the powerful chill of story-excitement ran up my spine. This kind of synchronicity sometimes happens, and each time it does I am led again to the mystical knowing that we are all connected, that stories are our lifeline, and that they want to be told.” AWE We see the story as it happens, afterward as survivors suffer guilt and grief, and as Everly, an archivist who curates Pulaski artifacts, sorts through the wreckage of her own life. We’re left enthralled, in awe and grateful to the author for this astonishing tale. Out March 9. Thanks to the author, Berkley Publishing, and NetGalley for the review copy in exchange for my honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jillian Doherty

    Charming, and deeply researched; I adore a historical fiction that makes me want to Google themes as you savor the read~ helping one becoming even more invested in the story. She succeeded here in story, and style. I also adore when the author’s note is as detailed as hers, offering rich background on what, and who inspired the narrative, local, and the extensive detail on the Pulaski itself. If you’re looking for a niche historical deep dive, with beautifully balanced by characters of the past Charming, and deeply researched; I adore a historical fiction that makes me want to Google themes as you savor the read~ helping one becoming even more invested in the story. She succeeded here in story, and style. I also adore when the author’s note is as detailed as hers, offering rich background on what, and who inspired the narrative, local, and the extensive detail on the Pulaski itself. If you’re looking for a niche historical deep dive, with beautifully balanced by characters of the past and present – you are going to love this book too! Galley borrowed from the publisher.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michelle "Champ"

    As I write this I have just finished this wonderful book and I am completely blown away. First of all, I have never heard of this accident so I had no incoming knowledge of what was about to display over the coming pages. Second, this is my first Patti Callahan book (even though I simply adore her on Friends and Fiction), and I am now asking myself why I have not escalated her books up the TBR pile. Third, I simply could not love this book more. Now about the book, it takes place over two time p As I write this I have just finished this wonderful book and I am completely blown away. First of all, I have never heard of this accident so I had no incoming knowledge of what was about to display over the coming pages. Second, this is my first Patti Callahan book (even though I simply adore her on Friends and Fiction), and I am now asking myself why I have not escalated her books up the TBR pile. Third, I simply could not love this book more. Now about the book, it takes place over two time periods, 1838 and 2018. In 2018, Everly lives in Savannah, she loves her town, but hates that her best friend died. She feels responsible and is given an opportunity to study a found shipwreck and curate the artifacts. 1838, we see families board a steamship, they are heading north to try and escape the oppressive heat of the southern summer. What they never expected was their ship would blow up and not everyone would survive. Who survived? What are their stories? Who is this Noble Boy and the Red Devil? Oh, you are going to have to read this book to find out the answers. Please don't forget to read the authors notes, there are so many interesting things on how fiction blends with nonfiction. I am going to re-read this before I put my stamp on it, but I think this might be my favorite book of 2020.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    I am a major fan of Patti Callahan and have read and enjoyed all of her novels. This is absolutely her best novel yet and one of my favorite books of the year - would give it 100 stars if I could. She took a subject that very few people knew about and did deep research to make the story come to life. Be sure to read the Author's Notes at the end of the book about the research that the author did for this book and information about the real people that were part of the Pulaski story. Many times wh I am a major fan of Patti Callahan and have read and enjoyed all of her novels. This is absolutely her best novel yet and one of my favorite books of the year - would give it 100 stars if I could. She took a subject that very few people knew about and did deep research to make the story come to life. Be sure to read the Author's Notes at the end of the book about the research that the author did for this book and information about the real people that were part of the Pulaski story. Many times when I read dual time line stories, I am more interested in one of the stories and kind of skim through the other. In this book, both timelines were fantastic and both had an exceptional main female character - Lilly in 1838 and Everly in present time. Both of them are facing major issues in their lives and need to make major changes to find happiness. Do they both succeed???? I loved this novel - the writing is exquisite. I rarely underline in novels but did significant underlining in this book for phrases and descriptions that I want to remember. The descriptions are so well done that I felt like I was visiting Savannah again and the descriptions of the survivors of the sinking ship waiting and hoping for rescue were the reason for tears and a few bitten off fingernails. My prediction is that this will be one of the must read books of March, 2021 and my advice is to pre-order a copy so you don't miss it. I read an e-copy but plan to order a hardcover copy so that I can put it on my 'favorite books' shelf in my office. DON'T MISS SURVIVING SAVANNAH!!!!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Strawser

    I've long been a fan of Patti Callahan's novels, but Surviving Savannah may be my all-time favorite. Callahan pivots flawlessly from the character-driven Southern fiction we know and love her for into this wholly engrossing historical tale, based on the real-life sinking of "The Titanic of the South" off the coast of North Carolina. I have a soft spot for stories that take forgotten events and bring them back to life in startling color; Surviving Savannah does all this and more, unearthing burie I've long been a fan of Patti Callahan's novels, but Surviving Savannah may be my all-time favorite. Callahan pivots flawlessly from the character-driven Southern fiction we know and love her for into this wholly engrossing historical tale, based on the real-life sinking of "The Titanic of the South" off the coast of North Carolina. I have a soft spot for stories that take forgotten events and bring them back to life in startling color; Surviving Savannah does all this and more, unearthing buried treasure from the ocean floor both literally and figuratively, and weaving it into the lives of its present-day curators as they struggle to overcome their own more recent tragedies. The past and present timelines and multiple points of view in this novel all feel equally immediate, personal, and heartfelt, and the setting in one of my favorite cities was an extra treat. Highly recommended. (Thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review early.)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kristina McMorris

    Readers are in for a memorable ride! I was fortunate enough to have an early peek for a cover quote and loved it: Through the interwoven tales of three courageous women, Surviving Savannah grips the reader in a spellbinding novel full of mystery, tragedy, sacrifice, and resilience. Layering painstaking research with evocative prose, Callahan has penned an utterly transportive read while illuminating a heart-wrenching yet largely forgotten slice of American history. Superb.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I would describe this book as "good". Callahan employed the often used, though not very creative, dual timelines where the modern day protagonist has issues but learns to deal with them through the lens of history. I was extremely excited about this book as I love a good southern story. Ultimately, it was pleasing but forgettable. There will be an audience for this book, though! I would describe this book as "good". Callahan employed the often used, though not very creative, dual timelines where the modern day protagonist has issues but learns to deal with them through the lens of history. I was extremely excited about this book as I love a good southern story. Ultimately, it was pleasing but forgettable. There will be an audience for this book, though!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    Do we have a destiny? How do we survive the surviving? What happens to us after we live through tragedy both great and small? Is there such a thing as fate? Who do we become and why? Can we ignore our past if we are ashamed of it?-Patti Callahan This is why we read historical fiction. The past shapes who we are today and we ignore or deny it at our own peril. Using the perspectives of three women (Everly in the present day/Lilly and Augusta from the 19th century), Patti Callahan gives us the stor Do we have a destiny? How do we survive the surviving? What happens to us after we live through tragedy both great and small? Is there such a thing as fate? Who do we become and why? Can we ignore our past if we are ashamed of it?-Patti Callahan This is why we read historical fiction. The past shapes who we are today and we ignore or deny it at our own peril. Using the perspectives of three women (Everly in the present day/Lilly and Augusta from the 19th century), Patti Callahan gives us the story behind the sinking of the Pulaski in June of 1838. If you have read accounts of the Titanic, Lusitania, or other shipwrecks you will see familiar themes. How people react in the immediate aftermath. Who gets in the lifeboats. The relentless thirst and sun exposure. The despair of watching others perish. The realization of what really matters in life. The joy of rescue. Having Everly herself dealing with trauma was a fascinating juxtaposition against the shipwreck and abuse we see in the lives of Augusta and Lilly. The Author's Note, Resources and Facts, and Acknowledgments are the pillars that support the narrative. What I found most compelling was the that while Callahan was working on the novel, the Pulaski wreckage was discovered. Some may call it coincidence. I call it Providence. Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)

    Everly Winthrop is a historian living in the beautiful city of Savannah, Georgia. She should be happy, but she has a lot of guilt surrounding her best friend's untimely death and this has impacted her life greatly the past few years. However, things are starting to look up for Everly when she is offered the amazing opportunity to guest-curate a museum collection of artifacts from the steamboat Pulaski, which was just found at the bottom of the ocean. This is a dream come true for Everly and she Everly Winthrop is a historian living in the beautiful city of Savannah, Georgia. She should be happy, but she has a lot of guilt surrounding her best friend's untimely death and this has impacted her life greatly the past few years. However, things are starting to look up for Everly when she is offered the amazing opportunity to guest-curate a museum collection of artifacts from the steamboat Pulaski, which was just found at the bottom of the ocean. This is a dream come true for Everly and she dives right in learning more about the passengers aboard the Pulaski on that fateful night in 1838 when the boiler exploded and caused the ship to sink. Flashback to 1838 and readers switch points of view to Augusta Longstreet, one of the passengers aboard the Pulaski. She is heading with her brother's family to a vacation home up north to escape the southern heat. Also aboard is Lily Forsyth, Augusta's niece, who is trapped in a difficult marriage, but must focus on raising her daughter. Once the explosion takes place, Savannah's finest citizens now struggle to survive and are faced with unimaginable choices that will haunt survivors for years to come. Meanwhile in present day, Everly finds out what truly happened aboard the Pulaski, who survived, and she especially highlights the strength and bravery many women possessed in the face of tragedy. Patti Callahan's Surviving Savannah is one of my favorite historical novels of the year. Read my full review here: http://www.confessionsofabookaddict.c...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    A double time-line story that will touch your heart and soul. This is a story of historian Everly Winthrop and her research into the little known steamship accident of the Pulaski in 1838. This is also a story of grief, resilience and soul-searching interwoven in the story of life-living, shouldering your grief, but never letting go of your choices for life. Unexpected trauma and its after-effects can touch any of us at any time. How you go on surviving the pain, the heartache of loss, cherishing A double time-line story that will touch your heart and soul. This is a story of historian Everly Winthrop and her research into the little known steamship accident of the Pulaski in 1838. This is also a story of grief, resilience and soul-searching interwoven in the story of life-living, shouldering your grief, but never letting go of your choices for life. Unexpected trauma and its after-effects can touch any of us at any time. How you go on surviving the pain, the heartache of loss, cherishing the memories and moving forward are the foundation of this story. One must own up to the truth of one's choices-good and bad. Beautifully written and researched, atmospherically outstanding , you will feel like you are there in this noble city of Savannah and the ever changing waters of the Atlantic. Please make sure and add this one to your reading list for next March, 2021.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne Alfveby Crea

    4,5 My first experience with a Patti Callahan story and I was captivated from the very first page! I got lost in this page-turning dual timeline story of heartache and tragedy, and how the survivors coped. Author Patti Callahan does a fantastic job with her research, and it was so interesting to learn about a relatively unknown (outside of Savannah) shipwreck. Everything in this excellent historical fiction story is portrayed in a very realistic way from the horrors of the explosion, the deaths, 4,5 My first experience with a Patti Callahan story and I was captivated from the very first page! I got lost in this page-turning dual timeline story of heartache and tragedy, and how the survivors coped. Author Patti Callahan does a fantastic job with her research, and it was so interesting to learn about a relatively unknown (outside of Savannah) shipwreck. Everything in this excellent historical fiction story is portrayed in a very realistic way from the horrors of the explosion, the deaths, and the days at sea with wind, sun, dehydration, and the trauma of surviving such an event "Not everyone who survives trauma becomes a better person. The idea that surviving brings everyone to a new and better place is a lie told by people who need the world to make sense. There was always a choice". After discovering some of the artifacts from The Pulaski, "The Titanic of the South" that sank in 1838, this really resonated with me "And once, it all meant something to someone." So much gets lost in the sands of time, I really appreciate the way Everly Winthrop in the present-day story, works so hard to learn the stories of all those on board The Pulaski, especially a family of 12 who set sail on this voyage. She discovers much along the way, and it helps her deal with a tragedy she recently experienced. Mostly clean for a general market book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    It’s 1838 and in Savannah, Georgia, many of the cities elite want to leave the oppressive heat around them and head up north. They decide to take the Pulaski, the most luxurious steamboat of its time. Little did they know they’d never live to see their destination. Yet a number of them survived and had to deal with the aftermath of the tragedy. Meanwhile, in present day Savannah, Everly, a museum curator is experiencing her own aftermath of a tragedy as she discovers more about the Pulaski shipwr It’s 1838 and in Savannah, Georgia, many of the cities elite want to leave the oppressive heat around them and head up north. They decide to take the Pulaski, the most luxurious steamboat of its time. Little did they know they’d never live to see their destination. Yet a number of them survived and had to deal with the aftermath of the tragedy. Meanwhile, in present day Savannah, Everly, a museum curator is experiencing her own aftermath of a tragedy as she discovers more about the Pulaski shipwreck through its artifacts and inspires her to find out more. This beautifully written little told story of the sinking of the Pulaski, the Titanic of the South, was a great read. We feel like we are going on the journey with the passengers of the boat amd feel their emotions too. There are two timelines and the present timeline ties very well with the past one and I enjoyed both of them equally. I highly recommend this book!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    I enjoyed reading Surviving Savannah, it was a piece of history I wasn't familiar with. I really liked the balance between the slip between the past and present. Everly Winthrope, a history professor was tasked with curating an exhibit for The Pulaski, a luxury steamship, and how it reached into her past concerning her best friend Mora who had been killed a year earlier. She was struggling with the ability to let go of her friend, become reacquainted with Oliver, her friend but also Mora's fianc I enjoyed reading Surviving Savannah, it was a piece of history I wasn't familiar with. I really liked the balance between the slip between the past and present. Everly Winthrope, a history professor was tasked with curating an exhibit for The Pulaski, a luxury steamship, and how it reached into her past concerning her best friend Mora who had been killed a year earlier. She was struggling with the ability to let go of her friend, become reacquainted with Oliver, her friend but also Mora's fiancee, and her burgeoning feelings towards him.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I would like to thank NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 1838 and the United States has a Titanic-like disaster. The ship Pulaski explodes on it's one-night voyage, as the wealthy families of Savannah try to escape the heat for their summer vacations up north. Present Day Savannah, and historian Everly tries to piece together the unknown stories of the women and slaves of the disaster, who's harrowing tales did not appear in the newspapers of I would like to thank NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 1838 and the United States has a Titanic-like disaster. The ship Pulaski explodes on it's one-night voyage, as the wealthy families of Savannah try to escape the heat for their summer vacations up north. Present Day Savannah, and historian Everly tries to piece together the unknown stories of the women and slaves of the disaster, who's harrowing tales did not appear in the newspapers of the day. All the while she curates a museum collection of artifacts and tales, she is trying to cope with her own survivors guilt. Could unraveling the stories left behind help Everly (and Maddox and Oliver) heal their own guilt and grief? I quite enjoy "now and then" tales - especially as they weave together to a resolution. This one ticks all of the boxes, strong women's histories, intrigue, healing, a touch of romance, and enough tension to keep me turning pages. Outside of being a page turner, the one thing that will get me to give an historical fiction 5* is the sheer number of times I set the book down to Google more information, and then how much I care to read the authors notes. Let's just say, 5*. Well written, well done.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    This book was received as an ARC from Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I was in awe throughout the entire book of the history behind the ship and all of the stories of the passengers aboard. This is a book that can take you away and be part of the action and live through the ships experiences while secrets are uncovered and survivors are exposed. Such a jaw-dropping, historic tale that will leave you c This book was received as an ARC from Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I was in awe throughout the entire book of the history behind the ship and all of the stories of the passengers aboard. This is a book that can take you away and be part of the action and live through the ships experiences while secrets are uncovered and survivors are exposed. Such a jaw-dropping, historic tale that will leave you captivated from beginning to end. I know this definitely will win our patrons over and it will have a home in our Historical Fiction collection. We will consider adding this title to our Historical Fiction collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    Have you heard about "The Titanic of the South"? As soon as I read the description of this book, I immediately googled this event and it’s all true! In 1838, the luxury steamship Pulaski sank on its way to Baltimore with many of Savannah’s elite families on board. As was common at the time, they were headed north for the summer to escape the stifling heat and rampant disease of the South, bringing with them trunks of gold, china, silver, and household items – basically all the possessions they n Have you heard about "The Titanic of the South"? As soon as I read the description of this book, I immediately googled this event and it’s all true! In 1838, the luxury steamship Pulaski sank on its way to Baltimore with many of Savannah’s elite families on board. As was common at the time, they were headed north for the summer to escape the stifling heat and rampant disease of the South, bringing with them trunks of gold, china, silver, and household items – basically all the possessions they need to set up their seasonal homes in New York. The book is told in two timelines: in the present day, Savannah history professor Everly Winthrop is asked to curate a new museum collection focusing on artifacts recovered from the steamship. She’s busy hiding from her own demons but has always been fascinated by the Pulaski, so she accepts the job. In 1838, Augusta Longstreet and her niece, Lilly Forsyth, board the ship along with their families. Lilly is in an abusive relationship with a husband who regards her as his property. Augusta is a beloved aunt and helper to her brother’s family, but longs for her own. When the ship explodes, their pampered lives suddenly seem meaningless. What will they do to not only survive, but to fight for what they really want from life? This is a story about strong women who are faced with unimaginable decisions. As usual with this type of dual storyline, I was way more invested in the past and often found myself impatient with the present-day narrative. Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book, made even more fascinating by the parts that were true. This story was mainly set in Savannah, which is a city that I love. It is absolutely gorgeous and I loved learning more about its history. Thank you #NetGalley and @berkleypub for the advance copy of #SurvivingSavannah. This book goes on sale March 9. #BerkleyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    Review Coming Soon ♥️

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    A powerfully written book about the steamship Pulaski. Just wow! The author has done an amazing job in describing the sinking ship that I really "felt" the ship's pain as she "died." It made feel so sorry for the ship. I can just imagine how the passengers felt as well. I could not imagine having to live after that. It'd be forever etched in my memory. I think at some point it would end up driving me crazy. But, I think that I would also look at it like this. Only God knows how things will end. Onl A powerfully written book about the steamship Pulaski. Just wow! The author has done an amazing job in describing the sinking ship that I really "felt" the ship's pain as she "died." It made feel so sorry for the ship. I can just imagine how the passengers felt as well. I could not imagine having to live after that. It'd be forever etched in my memory. I think at some point it would end up driving me crazy. But, I think that I would also look at it like this. Only God knows how things will end. Only He knows the plans He has for us. Lily's side of the story of course is my favorite. I love a good mystery. The decision she made well.... honestly I'm not sure how I feel about that but yet at the same time I " get " it. I really like this quote because it rings so very true and I think I've put this in another review before. It's Oliver telling Evelyn that "_We can't change the past but it does have the power to shape who we are today." We can learn from our pasts. I loved how the author didn't beat around the bush about Evelyn's anxiety. I think she has done Evelyn very well. Grief really has no time limit. I know. You never get over missing that person. I totally admire Evelyn too. Her occupation is just so interesting! I wouldn't mind doing that for a job myself. Mystery is awesome! But yet at the same time it can also be damaging for the descendants. I loved this story so much because I have learned new things and I now have a heathy respect for the steamship Pulaski. May she and her passengers rest in peace. I highly recommend this book. I know you will enjoy it like I did! Especially unraveling the past! Yes! There is some mild swearing but that didn't deter me. I wanted to see what happens at the end I wasn't disappointed. My thanks for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own. Five stars!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    This book started out very well. I was fascinated by the two storylines. In the first, a modern day history professor is called upon to prepare a museum exhibit for the recently discovered shipwreck Pulaski. She becomes embroiled in the research. The second involves passengers on the Pulaski in 1838. Initially I found both storylines equally interesting. However, as the book wore on into hundreds of pages, I definitely preferred the 1800s storyline. The contemporary protagonist had so much perso This book started out very well. I was fascinated by the two storylines. In the first, a modern day history professor is called upon to prepare a museum exhibit for the recently discovered shipwreck Pulaski. She becomes embroiled in the research. The second involves passengers on the Pulaski in 1838. Initially I found both storylines equally interesting. However, as the book wore on into hundreds of pages, I definitely preferred the 1800s storyline. The contemporary protagonist had so much personal baggage that it became annoying. The author reiterated her issues as though the reader could not absorb them the first dozen times. The historic plot also became overly drawn-out and detailed. Each of these stories would make a decent novel on their own. However, the author packaged the historic shipwreck as a metaphor for the contemporary professor's personal losses and grief. I think this was supposed to be profound. Instead I felt as though the author had beaten me over the head with a philosophy lesson. It seems the author was trying to tell too many stories in one novel. It was not confusing; it was ponderous. She tied up absolutely everything that could have been considered a loose end in excruciating detail. Apparently she wanted to address every concern book reviewers complain about. 70% of the way through, I wondered when this book would ever end. I started skimming. If you make it to this point, skip to the last chapter. The modern historian gives a speech at the opening of her exhibit which sums up the entire story. Also read the author's note if you are interested in what is fact and what is fiction. So why did I give this book 3 stars? The beginning of the novel captured my attention. The Shipwreck Pulaski is a fascinating topic. The historic plot is a 4 star story. The contemporary plot deserves two stars at the absolute most. Melding the two should have been done more efficiently. I generously averaged the two numbers. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for an advance reading copy in exchange for my honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Glenda

    This book is a big wow! I loved it and hope Patti continues to write historical fiction. She is a story finder AND a story teller extraordinaire. "Surviving Savannah" is the story of the S.S. Pulaski, a steamship that sailed from Charleston, South Carolina destined for Baltimore but was lost to the ocean on June 14, 1838, when (it is believed) copper boilers exploded, tearing the ship apart. The amount of detail in this book is astounding. The story primarily follows the Longstreets, a prominent f This book is a big wow! I loved it and hope Patti continues to write historical fiction. She is a story finder AND a story teller extraordinaire. "Surviving Savannah" is the story of the S.S. Pulaski, a steamship that sailed from Charleston, South Carolina destined for Baltimore but was lost to the ocean on June 14, 1838, when (it is believed) copper boilers exploded, tearing the ship apart. The amount of detail in this book is astounding. The story primarily follows the Longstreets, a prominent family of Savannah Society and in particular, Augusta Longstreet and her niece, Lilly Forsyth. The sinking of the Pulaski was of course a huge news event when it occurred and interestingly, became a major news story again fairly recently with the 2018 discovery of the remains of the Pulaski at the bottom of the ocean off the coast of North Carolina. There is an alternating narrative between the time period of the accident detailing the survivors' ordeal and the present day, with the story of a history professor in Savannah who takes on the job of curating a collection of artifacts from the ship. The two stories in the different time periods flow smoothly and are easily followed. This book was difficult to set down. There is mystery (What happened to Lilly Forsyth after she survived the shipwreck?) and there is high drama in the reading of personal accounts of the horror and hardship of those who survived. The authenticity of this book is impressive with first person accounts from passengers that were published in various newspapers and historical documents over time, each detailing their own experience. I highly recommend this book for anyone actually but especially for those who love this author's work, for historical fiction fans, mystery fans and stories of hardship and survival, as well as those who love or have a connection to the city of Savannah.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Aimee

    This is hands down the best book I have read all year!! I love Savannah and I adore Patti Callahan Henry's books. So to have the chance to read this one - it was a no brainer!! From the very first page, I was hooked. The main characters - Lilly, Priscilla, Augusta and Everly are people I became captivated with. They are all women with real problems, real issues. Women faced with unthinkable situations. Women who survive the surviving. The little details bring this novel to life. You can clearly s This is hands down the best book I have read all year!! I love Savannah and I adore Patti Callahan Henry's books. So to have the chance to read this one - it was a no brainer!! From the very first page, I was hooked. The main characters - Lilly, Priscilla, Augusta and Everly are people I became captivated with. They are all women with real problems, real issues. Women faced with unthinkable situations. Women who survive the surviving. The little details bring this novel to life. You can clearly see the amount of research that Callahan Henry put into this novel. Honestly, this story will stay with me for a long time. I want a sequel now - There is plenty to uncover from 1838-1850s!! Please! Next time I visit Savannah, I have the museum mentioned in the after notes on my list of places to see. I had not even heard about the Pulaski explosion before I read this book. Now, I'll never forget it. Patti Callahan Henry once again wrote a fascinating novel with remarkable characters. HIGHLY recommend this one, and I'll be buying a copy for my bookshelf when it comes out!!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    This is not your usual historical novel, in that there are two storylines: One present day, one in the past. I especially liked the character Lily and found myself rooting for her. I was disappointed when her denouement was summarized, rather than dramatized. How the past and present interlink in this book is interesting but at times felt overdetermined, not organic or smoothly written. I think with a tighter edit, this book could have been a more captivating read. It had lots of repetition. I f This is not your usual historical novel, in that there are two storylines: One present day, one in the past. I especially liked the character Lily and found myself rooting for her. I was disappointed when her denouement was summarized, rather than dramatized. How the past and present interlink in this book is interesting but at times felt overdetermined, not organic or smoothly written. I think with a tighter edit, this book could have been a more captivating read. It had lots of repetition. I found myself skimming at times; at other times I was gripped by certain scenes (ones taking place in the past; the present-day story didn't grab me). For a book that handles the weaving together of past and present in a powerful way, I'd recommend Wallace Stegner's "Angle of Repose." Thank you NetGalley for the ARC of this book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Branciforte

    The description of this book was intriguing to me and I thought I would enjoy it more than I did. It was just okay for me as I found the dual timeline to be more distracting than enjoyable, skipping back and forth in short chapters, so I was unable to really enjoy either of the stories. At about one third of the way through I started to read every other chapter because I basically wanted to find out what happed to Lilly and the others on the Pulaski. I also skipped to the end to read the Author’ The description of this book was intriguing to me and I thought I would enjoy it more than I did. It was just okay for me as I found the dual timeline to be more distracting than enjoyable, skipping back and forth in short chapters, so I was unable to really enjoy either of the stories. At about one third of the way through I started to read every other chapter because I basically wanted to find out what happed to Lilly and the others on the Pulaski. I also skipped to the end to read the Author’s notes which were very interesting and told the entire story of the Pulaski. This was one of those books where the dual timeline did not work well, it took away from a fact based story that took place in 1838 and the present story was nowhere near as interesting or as compelling. Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Books for the advanced digital review copy!

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